The Duke Endowment recently awarded a three-year grant of $980,000 to increase access to mental health care in Lexington County and establish a comprehensive and coordinated system of care delivery. The project will be known as UPLIFT Lexington County – Healing Mind, Body, and Spirit. The movement will engage law enforcement, first responders, and service providers and is focused on improving behavioral health through partnerships and empowerment that lead to healing and hope.
“How meaningful it is that The Duke Endowment is rallying behind this partnership to ensure that we can change lives of individuals and their families!” shared Lexington Medical Center Foundation Executive Director Amy Lanier.
The grant includes several Midlands partnering organizations: grantee Lexington Medical Center Foundation, Serve & Connect, Lexington County Community Mental Health Center, Lexington County EMS, Lexington County Sheriff’s Office and Lexington Medical Center.
The executive committee of the project is pleased to announce the hire of Macey Silano who joins the Serve & Connect team as the Program Manager. Macey will coordinate the project effort focused on improving services and support for people experiencing behavioral health challenges. The work will center on building partnerships between police, EMS, healthcare workers, mental health service providers and people with lived experience of mental illness with the goal of diverting people away from reliance on emergency services and the criminal justice system and into resources that promote healing and thriving.
Macey first joined the Serve & Connect team as a volunteer in 2016. She was then hired as the Community Outreach Coordinator where she oversaw community events and volunteer engagement. Macey then served as the project manager for mental health outreach efforts in 2020; this work served as the foundation for UPLIFT Lexington County. “We are thrilled to have Macey officially back on the Serve & Connect team,” shared Serve & Connect CEO Kassy Alia Ray. “Macey has been an integral part of our movement since the very beginning. I am confident that under her leadership, we will pave a new path for the way police, service providers and people with lived experience with mental illness work together to create healing and hope.”
“I am thrilled to be at the head of this program with amazing partners working by my side. There is strength in numbers, and the partnerships that are being bolstered with this work will allow us to make major movements toward positive change,” Macey offered. “With UPLIFT Lexington County, we can improve services and empower individuals with lived experience of mental illness.”
Macey recently graduated with her Master’s in Social Work and is working towards her PhD. She is the mom of three children.
The project addresses one of three highest needs identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment completed by Lexington Medical Center in 2019. The partners of UPLIFT Lexington County are grateful for this investment from The Duke Endowment. Since 1924, The Duke Endowment has worked to help people and strengthen communities in North and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. To date, the endowment has awarded more than four billion dollars in grants.